Greenwell Family – George Washington, Hiram, George Welch, Carol, Mark, Billy, Karen
Six generations of Greenwells have made their mark on the American Saddlebred industry. George Washington Greenwell moved to Lakenan, MO from Kentucky bringing a string of saddlehorses with him. The walnut barn built on his property in 1883 still stands and remains in the Greenwell family. George’s son, Hiram Greenwell of Shelbina, Missouri was the breeder of the foundation sire “Rex Monroe”, and was owner of “Easter Cloud”, the first winner of the $10,000 Five-Gaited championship at the Kentucky State Fair. Hiram was a charter member of the American Saddle Horse Breeders Association (now American Saddlebred Horse Association).
Hiram’s son, George Welch, and his wife Jessie, also of Shelbina, continued in the business and Welch was well-known for his horse breeding and judging. He was a self-taught horseman as his father died when he was only 9 years old. Welch’s awards include the Saddle Horse Hall of Fame, St. Louis Horse Show Hall of Fame, UPHA Hall of Fame, and he was named a Kentucky Colonel, the highest honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky, for his outstanding saddlehorse judging of America. Welch rode Temple Stephens’ “Easter Serenade” to the Five-Gaited World Championship. “Easter Serenade” was the only horse to simultaneously hold titles at Kentucky and Missouri State Fairs, St. Louis, American Royal, and Chicago International. Welch also won the Three-Gaited World Championship in 1948. His son, Carol, won the same class 40 years later to the date with “Black Irish”. Welch’s son, Carol, and his wife Margie operated Cleveland Park Stables in South Carolina. Carol continued the family tradition of being a world championship judge. Carol’s sons, Mark and Billy, continued in the business making a name for themselves as trainers and riders. Billy has also served as a judge in many shows throughout the nation. Billy and Mark have since retired, but Billy’s daughter, Karen, continues in the business operating Seventh Generation Stables in New Jersey continuing the Greenwell saddlehorse era that has lasted well over 100 years.
Sources: Welch Greenwell obituary; Hiram Greenwell obituary; interview with Hiram Greenwell
Hulse Family – Dyas, Don, Ron, Mark, Lee
Hulse Stables of Center, Missouri has been in operation for three generations and is known as one of the top training and breeding facilities of American Saddlebreds. Dyas Hulse began the family’s legacy. He operated a dry goods store in Center and when customers could not pay their bill, Dyas would accept horses in trade, teach the horses to rack, and then sell them. Having learned a lot about horses from his father, Don Hulse continued in the business for over 50 years, gaining a reputation as one of the top trainers and breeders of American Saddlebreds. Hulse stables produced one of the most famous stallions in American Saddlebred history, “Champagne Fizz”, son of “Supreme Sultan”. Most of the champions touting the name “Champagne” were bred and raised at Hulse Stables. “Champagne Fizz” had a huge impact on the Saddlebred world for over 30 years producing 774 get (foals), 217 winners, 116 finishing reserve or better at Louisville and 409 ribbon winners. Other well-known sires at Hulse Stables were “La Veeda’s Knight” (sire of World’s Champion CH “Legal Tender”) and “On the Go” (sire of World’s Champions CH “Princess Julia”, “Bella Mia”, “Lakeview’s Sea Goddess”, and CH “Going Big Time”. Well known broodmares such as “Hollywood Genius” (BHF) were also bred at Hulse Stables. Don was inducted into the United Professional Horseman’s Association Hall of Fame, the American Saddlebred Horse Association Breeders Hall of Fame, and the American Royal Hall of Fame. Don’s sons, Mark and Ron, have both continued in the business. Mark has been a long-time trainer and rider and his wife, Kelly, is an equestrian professor at Stephens College. Ron and his son, Lee, (fourth generation) continue the family legacy with the breeding, training, and selling of American Saddlebreds at the stable in Center. Other champions produced by Hulse stables have been “Paint by Numbers”, “Janians’s Ruby Slippers”, and”Simply Champagne”.
Sources: Don Hulse obituary; Saddle and Bridle, February 1974, p. 100
Over decades Gayle Lampe’s influence has established her as a national and international leader in equestrian science. For 41 years, Gayle directed the saddle seat program at William Woods University’s nationally acclaimed Equestrian Science Department in Fulton, Missouri where she established the nation’s first four-year degree program in equestrian science. She still teaches on a part time basis. Gayle is responsible for the donation of more than 2200 horses to the university and was the procurer and caretaker of its exotic ducks for 41 years.
Gayle holds Judge’s cards in nine disciplines and has adjudicated all across the country as well as internationally. In 1996, Gayle coached the United States team to a gold medal at the inaugural Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup held at Equitana in Louisville, Kentucky.
Gayle has trained several William Woods horses to world and national championships, and has personally ridden many to honors such as the William Woods owned Morgan “Zephyr’s King Moro” and Alvin Ruxer’s Arabian stallion, “DW Bonfire”. Gayle is perhaps best known for her performances with her beloved “Callaway’s Born To Win”. The pair has won nearly every honor offered in the Ladies Five-Gaited division including numerous World and National championships. Five times they were voted the best ladies five-gaited combination in the nation by the members of the United Professional Horsemen’s Association.
Professionally, Gayle has received the following awards: the Audrey Gutridge at the Kentucky State Fair, The National Horseman’s General John B. Castleman, the American Saddlebred Association’s Lurline Roth Sportsmanship, the Missouri-Kansas Horse Person of the Year, the United Professional Horseman’s Association Equitation Instructor of the Year, the American Riding Instructor’s Certification Program Instructor of the Year , and their “Master Instructor” Award. She has received the Missouri Horse Shows Association “Trainer of the Year Award” and is a two – time recipient of the Beaumont Dad’s Association ‘Distinguished Professor Award” at William Woods. Gayle was also inducted into the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sportsmen Hall of Fame. In addition, Gayle is the author of the book, Riding for Success, Both in and out of the Show Ring.
Source: info submitted by Sarah Track, William Woods University
Smith, his wife Alexandra, and mother, Sandra, own and operate Mercer Springs Farm in Princeton, West Virginia, a public training stable specializing in the American Saddlebred. Despite being around horses his entire life, Smith did not always dream of being a horse trainer. He had early aspirations of being a football player or a pro golfer. After developing his skills working under the direction of noted trainers Larry Barbee, Mitch Clark and Nelson Green, Lilly returned to his family’s Mercer Springs Farm. From their base in West Virginia, the Lillys have trained over 150 world title holders in all divisions, including in-hand, junior and amateur riders, young horses and open grand champions. While Saddlebreds are their specialty, the Lillys have experience working with Morgans, Arabians, Hackneys, Friesians and Standardbreds.
Known and respected as a versatile and thorough horseman, Smith Lilly brings many years of experience training show horses to the pages of the best-selling and highly acclaimed book “Saddle Seat Horsemanship,” the most comprehensive and detailed study available on the subject. According to Lilly, “When I decided to make training show horses my life’s work, I wanted to learn as much as possible about the horse. While many books were available discussing training theories for other disciplines, precious little written information was available about show horses. Information on the topic was shared the truly old fashioned way, in discussions among horsemen, with young trainers learning from the master horsemen under whose tutelage they worked.” Recognizing this gap in information, Lilly collected information from various notable men and women trainers and compiled it into a book. He hopes making the information more accessible will help to promote the sport.
A believer in giving back to the sport, Smith is currently President of the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA), serves on the United States Equestrian Federation Saddlebred Rules Committee, and serves as chair of the American Saddlebred Registry’s Kentucky and National Futurities Committee. Together Lilly and his wife, Alexandra, have received the UPHA Professional Horseman Trainer of the Year Award. Lilly appreciates the awards, and believes “being good at what you do, having success and demonstrating sportsmanship are all important, but being a good citizen of the sport is also important”.
Sources: www.wvexecutive.com/smith-lilly May 2012; “Noted Horseman and Author, Smith Lilly, to visit William Wood”, www.saddleandbridle.com, Jan. 2016; Bill Archer, Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Jan. 2015; Ann Bullard, Saddle Horse Report, “Smith Lilly-People’s Choice Trainer of the Year”, www.saddlehorsereport.com, Feb. 2007; info submitted by Smith Lilly
Shirley Drew Hardwicke
Shirley was born in Clifton Hill, Missouri the daughter of professional horse trainers, Claude and Caroline Reed Drew. One of the most famous horses trained by her parents was the great Missouri sire, “Stonewall King”. Shirley was around horses her entire life helping with the family business training and showing. She assisted her mother, Caroline, teach horsemanship and riding at Christian College, now known as Columbia College. Shirley graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in dramatics and physical education. Her plan was to teach physical education, but William Woods College offered her a job teaching horsemanship. Her excitement soon dwindled when she discovered the stables had few horses suitable for student riders and very little equipment. During her first few months at William Woods, Shirley began her day at 5:00 a.m. riding every horse “to take the edge off” before the students arrived. The horses had to learn to be “school horses” while students were learning to ride them.
Shirley left William Woods in 1942 to serve with the Red Cross during World War II, but she laid the groundwork at William Woods for one of the most respected riding programs in the U.S. After the war, Shirley returned to Columbia and was hired as Director of Horsemanship at Stephens College in 1947. While at Stephens, Shirley worked many 12-hour days that included teaching, horse shopping, judging shows, and coaching students on the show circuit. She retired in 1980 after 33 years at Stephens and is credited with developing the Stephens course of equine study into the nation’s premier college-level program. By the late 1950’s, Stephens College had developed the most admired riding program in the nation that involved one thousand students, a hundred horses, six teachers, and a stable staff of fourteen. Other schools used it as a model. Shirley’s students learned much more than ride horses. She helped transform a student’s love for horses into a meaningful and productive career. Shirley set the standard for college equestrian studies in the U.S. Her students are among todays’ leading American Saddlebred owners, trainers, instructors, and judges. She received many awards and honor for her contributions to the show horse industry. She died in 2004 at the age of 88.
Source: paraphrased article written by Carlynn Trout
Lee Brothers – George & William “Bill” Lee
George and Bill Lee operated the “Big Old Barn on the Boulevard” from 1906-1943 following in the footsteps of the original tenants, Cyrus Clark and Joseph Potts. The Lee Brothers, internationally known in the Saddlebred world, trained and sold horses, gave riding lessons, and also judged at all the major horse shows in the nation. They were known to have sold more high class Saddlebreds, both for show ring and pleasure, than any other firm in America. They are credited for being partly responsible for Mexico’s worldwide reputation as horse center or “Saddlehorse Capital of the World.”
As young boys, their interest in horses was piqued by their Kentucky bred Grandfather Hubbell’s stories of saddlebreds. Prior to their time on the Boulevard, George Lee operated a stable in Moberly, Missoouri where he trained trotters and pacers. Bill Lee began showing horses at the age of 15 and appeared in the show ring hundreds of times. He had the honor of showing “Mascot” and the great “Rex Denmark” at the World’s Fair. He spent four years in Macon building up the stable for the Missouri millionaire, Colonel Bleese. While working for Colonel Bleese, Bill purchased “Rex McDonald” for $5000 from Colonel Hughes of Kentucky. While “Rex” was the property of Bleese, Bill rode him in the show ring for three years… always coming away with the blue ribbon.
During their careers, the brothers estimated they handled over 30,000 horses and mules. They sold horses to the police departments in New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia. They supplied horses to the biggest dealers in the East for their carriage trade and were the major supplier to Harry McNair’s saddlehorse sale in Chicago. During World War I, the barn served as a gathering point for horses and mules sent to Europe to help with the war effort. Horses and mules were brought to the stable and then driven to the railroad to be loaded onto train cars. The Lee Bros. had the reputation of having exceptional horses and were known for their honest business dealings. Buyers would buy horses from them “sight unseen” and knew they would get exactly what they wanted. Numerous well-known trainers apprenticed under the Lee Bros. – John Hook, Del Holman, John Woods, Hugh Dempsey, and Splint Barnett to name a few. The brothers purchased horses for two Presidents – William Howard Taft and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Their motto was “Not Best Cause Biggest, Biggest Cause Best”. Some famous horses which passed through the Lee Bros. Stables were: “Rex McDonald”, “Roxie Highland”, “King Forrest”, “Lady Margaret”, “Lady Glenn”, “Lou Ann” and many more.
Source: Saddle & Bridle, April 1997; “Big Barn on the Boulevard”, Lynn Weatherman, Saddle & Bridle, August 1978; Mexico Ledger article, date unknown; article written for Lee Brothers 25th anniversary obtained from the Audrain County Historical Society, author unknown